Oral surgery focuses on the diagnosis and surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects related to the functional and esthetic aspects of the face, mouth, teeth and jaws (maxillofacial area). Also called oral maxillofacial surgery, this type of dental surgery is highly involved and can help remedy such dental problems such as pain, swelling and infection associated with oral health issues. Dr. Winters and Dr. Hodges are experienced at performing oral surgeries such as tooth extraction and placing dental implants while taking into consideration the esthetics of your appearance.
Tooth extraction is the most common form of oral surgery we perform. Although most patients fear a dreaded tooth extraction or the thought of having their tooth “pulled,” our dentists provide compassion, skill, and a focus on your comfort that you can trust. In addition we can alleviate some of the stresses that occur from getting this type of procedure done with the help of oral sedation which will help you get through your visit.
Reasons for a Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is often necessary to prepare a smile for restorative therapies, to alleviate crowding, or remove an irreparably damaged tooth. Another common extraction is the removal of the third molars, better known as wisdom teeth. These are ideally removed in the late teens or early adult years even though they may not actually be erupted at this time. Other reasons for a tooth extraction may include:
Damaged Teeth– If a tooth is irreparably damaged from trauma or extensive decay, they may need to be pulled.
Malpositioned/Nonfunctioning Teeth– In order to avoid complications that may result in an anticipated or negative impact to your oral health, we may suggest removing teeth that are malaligned or that are essentially useless. An example of this would be teeth that have no opposing teeth to bite against.
Restorative Therapies– Restorative therapies such as braces may require tooth extraction to make needed space for improved teeth alignment.
Extra Teeth– In the event you have extra teeth or supernumerary teeth, we may recommend having them extracted to prevent other teeth from erupting.
Wisdom teeth are of the most common oral surgery procedures that many people will experience in their lifetime. At an adolescent age most people’s third molars begin to erupt through the gum line at the very back of their mouths. Because the modern jaw shape often can’t accommodate wisdom teeth, leading to either of two unhealthy conditions: crowding of existing permanent teeth, or impaction–the incoming molars get stuck in place. As this requires a bit of foresight on our behalf, we typically examine our 11 and 12-year-old patients to predict the upcoming developmental positioning of the wisdom teeth, recommending extraction prior to 17 to 19 years of age.
Removing crowded teeth is important because they can misalign your bite, cause jaw pain, and lead to gum disease, causing dental problems for the rest of your life. Partially-erupted wisdom teeth allow bacteria and germs to multiply, leading to infection or cyst formation; tumors may even grow on a trapped wisdom tooth. Impacted or partially-erupted wisdom teeth may force entry, pushing up in whichever direction they find the most give: sideways, vertically, backward, or forward. They can become stuck while still fully encased in the jawbone (called a bony impaction), or prior to erupting through the gums (called a soft tissue impaction). This can result in cause pain, swelling, and infection. The good news is that extraction is a simple, routine surgical procedure that can usually be performed comfortably in one office visit.
For more information on oral surgery or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Winters or Dr. Hodges please contact our office at (918) 528-3330 today.